Toronto real estate tycoon's son who wrote graphic novel about killings convicted of murder
WARNING: This story contains disturbing details
A Canadian man who wrote a graphic novel that features gruesome killings was convicted in Southern California on Wednesday of the torture and mutilation of a live-in girlfriend who had given birth to their child weeks before.
A Los Angeles jury found Blake Leibel, 37, guilty of first-degree murder, torture and aggravated mayhem in the slaying of Iana Kasian.
Leibel faces life in prison when he's sentenced June 26.
Leibel's father, Lorne Leibel, a sailor on Canada's 1976 Olympics team, built a fortune constructing homes in the Toronto area.
Blake Leibel moved to California and lived off an allowance of about $18,000 a month over a seven-year period until inheriting the majority of his mother's estate.
He worked in a variety of creative roles, including as a director and creative consultant in 2008 on the animated series based on Mel Brooks 1987 film Spaceballs, according to his profile on IMDb.
He wrote and directed his own film comedy, Bald, that same year.
Graphic novel depicted killer
He's credited as the creator and executive editor of the graphic novel Syndrome, published in 2010. The book's plot follows a mad doctor's quest to test his theory that he can isolate the root of evil in the brain and fix it, trying his experiment on a serial killer.
The graphic novel opens outside a prison where the killer is about to be executed for 38 murders. It then flashes back to scenes of him hanging a couple by their ankles and slitting the man's throat.
Leibel used a knife in a "prolonged attack" in which the victim was "alive for the better part of the mutilation and mayhem," prosecutor Tannaz Mokayef told jurors. She said the crime "followed a script" from the graphic novel.
Deputies went to the couple's apartment after Kasian's mother reported her missing. It appeared she had been badly beaten, authorities said. Leibel was arrested at the scene.